Tamaqua utilized some strong efforts on both sides of the ball for a 13-3 comeback win over Jim Thorpe in the District 18 11-12 Little League Tournament last night.
It was the second straight win for Tamaqua, as Connor Hartung's offensive firepower, paired with a great mound performance from Matt Minchhoff, were the highlights.
"We knew (Tamaqua) was going to be tough, because they were fundamentally sound, and had some good pitching," Jim Thorpe head coach Kenny Snerr mentioned following the contest. "Once they got that momentum swing, we just couldn't get it back."
The big lead change came in the third inning. After Jim Thorpe took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Tamaqua responded with a five-run third-inning effort to take the lead and JT never recovered.
"The kids showed a lot of desire, heart and resiliency in coming back like that," Tamaqua Head Coach Joe Coleman admitted afterwards. "They definitely responded well and didn't quit."
In the bottom of the first, K.Jj Snerr smacked a three-run shot over the fence to put his team up early.
After the teams traded scoreless innings, Tamaqua broke loose. The spree was highlighted by Hartung's two-RBI double and a RBI double by Minchhoff.
After helping himself with the bat, Minchhoff went back to work on the mound, with two pop-ups and a strikeout in the fourth.
The fifth frame was brightened by Minchhoff's two-run shot, adding insurance scores to the ballooning lead by the victors.
The sixth saw Hartung step to the plate again. This time, he took the ball deep into the woods beyond the left field fence, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
After that, Hartung took the mound to close out JT's comeback chances.
"(Hartung) really did the job for us tonight," Coleman complimented. "He came in to close the door and he wasn't put out for us all night. He's the biggest guy on the team physically and he probably has the biggest heart on the team as well. He comes through for us when he is called upon."
Hartung finished the night with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate with five RBI in the game. Minchhoff had two hits with three RBI, while teammate Russ Blaker also contributed two hits for the winners.
For Jim Thorpe, Jordan McElmoyle had two of his team's four hits, with Snerr's homer and Aaron Joyce's hit comprising the other two.
Tamaqua scored its 13 runs on 10 hits. Minchhoff struck out three, allowing only four hits in five innings of work.
Jim Thorpe will play Wednesday at West Hazleton, while Tamaqua hosts Hazleton on Friday night at Tamaqua's Bill Angst Stadium at 6 p.m.
Tamaqua 005 043 - 13 10
Jim Thorpe 300 000 - 3 4
Minchhoff, Hartung (6) and Moyer; Malarkey and Joyce. WP – Minchhoff, LP – Malarkey. HR: JT – Snerr (1st, 2 on); T – Minchhoff (5th, 1 on), Hartung (6th, 2 on).
Freeland took advantage of plenty of Lansford walks and miscues to post a 10-2 victory.
Lansford's pitching staff allowed a total of nine walks and the defense committed five errors, which produced the majority of Freeland's runs.
Cory Rogers paced Freeland with three singles, a double, two runs and two RBIs, while Evan Hauze added three singles and two RBIs. Nick Young chipped in with a single and two RBIs.
Lansford's Darren Goida finished with two doubles, while Nathan Miller recorded two singles and a run scored.
Freeland 020 440 - 10 10 1
Lansford 020 000 - 2 7 5
Allen, Hauze (5) and Walsh; Micholik, Mazzie (4) and Goida. W - Allen. L - Micholik.